ABH DECIDES 2019: “I WILL SAY AUTORITATIVELY, THAT I AM THE MOST QUALIFIED FOR THE JOB”- ONYEKA AKAMELU, SOCIAL AND BUTTERY MINSITER ASPIRANT
Pressman: good evening, I am a representative of the press and I am here with one of the aspirants for social and buttery ministry. Please can you introduce yourself to brownites for the sake of this interview?
Candidate: good evening brownites, my name is Onyeka Akamelu aka Handmade. I am a 500-level medicine and surgery student from Anambra state and I am vying for the post of social and buttery minister.
Pressman: thank you very much. Can you tell brownites why you are running for this post? What inspired you?
Onyeka: thank you for the question, let’s go back to the genesis of how I joined the social and buttery ministry. It all started when the Ofada cafeteria were still in ABH, we all know how awkward it was for them to be there, despite several complaints there was no improvement. I was tired of complaining so I decided to join the social buttery ministry to make the changes I want to see. Along the line in being a member of the social and buttery ministry I found out that it is a very interesting aspect of the hall and I fell in love with it and I decided that I would love to serve the hall in this capacity.
So, my wanting to vie for the post primarily is my love for the hall and my wanting to serve the hall. ABH is our home away from home and I will like it to be in the best of conditions possible.
Pressman: okay, you have two opponents, what edge do you think you have over them? What are the qualities you have that you think gives you an upper hand over your opponents?
Onyeka: okay, fantastic, thank you for the question. I believe I have several edges over them. If there is anything as a criteria or qualification for being the social and buttery minister, and I am not bragging, but I will say authoritatively that I am the most qualified for the job. Why would I say this?
The social and buttery ministry is the ministry that oversees quality and price control in the cafeteria as well as other shops within the hall and is also in-charge of the TV room as well as the organization of the social events in the hall like the end-of-the year party, freshers’ welcome. The social and buttery minister is also the second person in the organisation of the hall week and the ministry has two main committees: these are the TV room committee and the quality and price control committee. I am a member of these two committees as well as other adhoc committees like the freshers’ welcome committee and I was also involved in the planning and execution of this last end-of-the-year party.
One of the candidates in the person of Lemonade as he is popularly known is a member of one these committees which is the TV room committee and Ige who happens to be the other aspirant is a member of these two committees too. But, I feel I have an edge above them both. It might interest you to know that some persons enlist to become members of some committees and for one reason or the other they don’t become active in these committees, they don’t make any contribution. I must say that I was not just a “nominal” member in these committees, I was an “active” and “functional” member.
I am not bragging, but you can ask other members of the committee and the present minister, I have been the most active in this committees, I have been like the second person in the affairs of the committee, you can say that I even shadow the present minister, so I know the way things are done and I have been very supportive to the present minister to the extent that when he was about to go for his one-month elective in Igboora, he thought of all the persons in the committee and he deemed it sagacious to pick me. So, it could literally be said that when he went away for his outside posting in Igboora, I acted in the capacity of the Social and Buttery Minister. During that period, I acquired some experience and I know the way things are being run in the ministry compared to the two other aspirants.
One thing that might stand against me when compared to other aspirants, is that I am gentle quite alright, that is not a disadvantage but in terms of popularity, some of the other aspirants have gained their popularity through noise-making. I am not a noise maker, I do a lot, but I don’t talk a lot. That might be an edge they have over me, but it’s not really an edge. They say I drum that is filled to the brim doesn’t really make much of a noise, so, I know what I got.
Pressman: okay, thank you, you’ve mentioned some capacities that you served this hall, are there other capacities that you have served the hall?
Pressman: okay, can you give us examples?
Onyeka: okay, in this just concluded hall week, I was a member, not just a member , I want to use the adjective; I was an ACTIVE member of the variety night committee, I was actively involved in the organisation and I was even the head of the logistics sub-committee, you could ask the chairman, in the person of Okonkwo Michael, I was not just there for decorative purpose, I worked.
I was also a member of the ABH disco night party committee, you can ask Adegbaju Taiwo Francis, I attended all the meetings I could attend and the few I couldn’t attend was when I was in Igboora, but even from Igboora, I was making active contributions. Some persons were on the group, they didn’t come for meeting and they didn’t make any meaningful contribution on the page, and later they’ll come out and say: “I was a member 2017/2018 disco night committee” and they are coming out to vie for posts.
Pressman: okay, so you have served in many capacities.
Onyeka: yes, I have also served as a member of the ABH maintenance committee and in this committee, I was the secretary, I was highly functional. I was saddled with this responsibility because they saw that I was eager to serve, coming out for this post is out if the passion and love I have for brownites, I want brownites to call the hall their home, especially the cafeteria, I will like to provide the best, because we deserve the best, the TV room has to be upgraded and brownites can feel very relaxed and comfortable whenever they come to use the TV room.
In case I didn’t mention, I was also a member of the ABH fund raising committee, I was instrumental in raising funds in the just concluded hall week. I give fact, I don’t give bobo. I am not a very good noisemaker, but I hope brownites realise that I am the best person for this post.
Pressman: in all these capacities that you have served the hall, what is the most difficult situation you found yourself in and how did you overcome that situation?
Onyeka: the most difficult situation I found myself in was essentially during the time of the hall week and that was on the issue of raising funds. I had to throw away my shame and I had to meet different persons, sometimes what prevents people from going out to sort for funds is the self rep. I threw away the self rep. I met different persons, even people that we sparingly speak, I had to go out of my comfort zone to perform these tasks and maybe some other things that can’t come to my mind now.
Pressman: so, you were very active in the previous tenure and in the social and buttery ministry
Pressman: so, what are the loop holes that you observed in that tenure and how do you intend to fix them?
Onyeka: the present Social and Buttery Minister has done well, to the best of his capacity, I think he has done well but there are still more to be done. Take for instance, the TV room is not in the best of states in can be and I still believe some work can be done, it must be upgraded, we need more seats and not just more seats, quality seats. The TV room need proper ventilation and how do we get this? By ensuring the place is well aerated, by getting fans and making plans to raise funds to see that the plan comes to reality. I don’t only talk, but I talk and do, the plans I have for the social and buttery ministry and ABH in general won’t just end in plans, but they’ll be brought to fruition.
The other aspect is the cafeteria, they should upgrade their services and MAINTAIN it. Sometimes, they upgrade, and they degrade, so we must be on their neck because they are here for brownites and they must give us the best and give us quality at its peak. So, I will keep making suggestions and recommendations on how they should improve.
In ABH we have so many brilliant minds, so many capable hands, we bring them into the team because I cannot achieve everything alone.
Pressman: so, what is your view on the male to female ratio concerning the usage of the TV rooms?
Onyeka: in reality, the guys use it more.
Pressman: do you have anything to say on that?
Onyeka: well…… what do you expect me to say, I mean most guys watch football and most times they come around during time for matches. But considering the fact that a few weeks ago the last season of Game of Thrones kicked off and both males and females have been coming around to watch, so I think it depends on the programs that both sexes enjoy. The TV room is not meant specifically for the guys and some ladies come around to watch football, I could mention names.
Pressman: there is no need to mention names.
Onyeka: yes, so we could encourage ladies to pick interest in football, it’s part of what we encourage and even if it’s not football other programs they are interested in, the TV rooms is for all brownites not just the males.
Pressman: you would agree with me that whenever they are showing a football match, the ladies have no choice but to leave the TV room for the guys, what if a group of ladies want to watch a program that is holding at the same time as the football match, what will you do?
Onyeka: a group of ladies could be 5 ladies and we have 100 male brownites that want to watch football, what do you think is the logical thing to do?
Pressman: you are not getting my point, you have already agreed that males use the TV room more than the ladies, so you have 5 ladies, which is a huge number for ladies to come out to say they want to watch something in the TV room and you have 100 male brownites who have been watching their matches, week in week out and all the ladies want for that night is to watch something on Africa Magic, what will you do?
Onyeka: I think communication is essential in everything we want to do, so since they know that there is a program they want to watch, they should say it ahead of time. Things can always be made to work, there are three televisions in the TV room, the ladies can use one while the guys use the other two.
Pressman: alright, basically I think that the females don’t have that sense of ownership towards the TV room as the guys, how will you make the ladies know that “this is your TV room and you can use it any time you want?” that they can go in there, take the remote and put whatever they want?
Onyeka: there are so many ways to go about that, we can work with the female affairs ministry on that and bring ladies to the TV room because having ladies around make it more fun and the ladies are mothers to be and they’ll help to create harmony.
Also, encourage guys to bring their female friends, not necessarily girl friends to the TV room and also making the TV room conducive because some ladies may want to use the TV room but it’s not conducive and that will discourage them and that is also part of my plan.
Pressman: okay, if you are given the privilege to change one thing in the cafeteria, what will it be and why?
Onyeka: that is a very fantastic question, but one thing can’t be changed in the cafeteria.
Pressman: if you were given the opportunity and resources to change one thing in the cafeteria, what is the most important thing to you that you would change and why?
Onyeka: this question cannot be answered just like that because, I won’t determine that solely, I am there representing brownites, so it’s what brownites have a dire need for. But brownites are complaining now that the food from Prestige is reducing in quantity and the staff are being rude or they don’t respond to them fast and some persons complained about Fanawole, about the quality of their food but the quantity is good, so I will investigate that aspect for that side of the cafeteria. Asking me to pick one thing is putting me in a tight corner, I will have to ask the opinion of brownites.
Pressman: if you win this election, that means brownites have put their trust and faith in you to make the right decision on their behalf. If hypothetically speaking, the sub-dean asks you on the spot the exact same question asked, will you say; “sorry sir, I will like to take a poll” or are you going to make an decision having the belief that brownites have put their trust in me and any decision I make, they are going to support me?
Onyeka: okay, for Fanawole, I will opt for a change the quality of their food and for Prestige, I will start from the quality of service from the attendants and that encompasses so many other things, like theor behaviour and how prompt they attend to brownites.
Pressman: okay, so, your nickname is “Handmade”. How did that come about?
Onyeka: very simple, Handmade is derived from my surname “Akamelu” it is the literal English translation of my surname. I have had this nickname since 100-level. I got it myself when some persons were finding it difficult to pronounce my surname, so I said, instead of pronouncing it wrongly after several corrections, they can call me Handmade.
Pressman: alright then, do you have anything to say to brownites as a closing remark?
Onyeka: brownites, coming out to serve the hall is out of the love I have for the hall and for my fellow brownites, choosing me to be the next Social and Buttery Minister is the best choice you are going to make in this election. The best choice because, I don’t just talk, but I talk and do. I’ll ensure that brownites get quality in all areas, especially from the cafeteria even to the TV room and DOWN to the hall week.
Pressman: thank you and we look forward to the manifesto night. Thanks once more.
Onyeka: thank you too.